Strike underway at Cargill beef plant in Guelph

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Nearly a thousand workers at Cargill’s Dunlop beef processing facility at Guelph, Ont. are on strike, as of 12:01am on Monday, May 27, according to their union.

The workers, who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175, voted against a negotiated settlement on Sunday.

The union says it has raised a number of issues at the bargaining table, including increased cost of living and the removal of $2 per hour pandemic pay offered during the COVID pandemic.

“Our members at Cargill Dunlop are an integral part of a vital supply chain that helps keep food on the table for people every day,” said Kelly Tosato, president of UFCW Local 175, in a news release. “The decision to go on strike is never easy but these members aren’t satisfied with what the company has brought to the table. And we will have their backs until their union negotiating committee can achieve a deal that reflects the nature of their hard work and commitment to creating quality food products that feed hundreds of thousands.”

The plant on the east side Guelph is one of the largest beef processing facilities in eastern Canada. According to Cargill Proteins’ website, it processes 1,500 head of cattle per day, employing 950 people. It’s also the only large-scale Halal-certified facility in Canada.

Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and the Ontario Cattle Feeders Association (OCFA) say they are hopeful the negotiations between both parties will come to a swift resolution.

“BFO and OCFA have been following the negotiations leading up to today, and we were hopeful an agreement would have been reached over the weekend,” the groups said in a statement issued May 27. “We are engaged in the situation and have been in close contact with the Canadian Cattle Association and government representatives as we monitor the impact of the temporary closure of the Dunlop facility.”

 

 

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